at home gym equipment on rug in living room
Fitness

Gym vs working out at home?

Ever since the covid-19 hit us many of us has been forced to change our regular workout routines to at-home-workouts.

All fitness gear was completely sold out everywhere and the online training business has experienced an enormous boom.

Gyms have now reopened in many countries, and it is now possible to get back to our old workout routines.

I have been struggling with making the decision between upgrading my home-office-gym or put the money towards a gym-membership instead!

There are pros and cons for both options – which will you opt for?

Gym


Pros

  • All the equipment you could possibly need: At the gym you have access to any weight class and all the cardio machines you can dream of use. I for instance change my cardio routines between different machines in order to avoid injuries, but I am not interested in spending $$$$ on purchasing all these different kinds of machines for my home (not to mention having the space to store them). In this way the gym is perfect.
  • Access to classes: Most gyms have a lot of different classes you can attend, which is important if you enjoy working out with others and want to form new social relations. You can often choose a class on beginner level, and the teacher will correct you, if you are doing the exercise wrong, which will ensure a low risk of injuries.
  • Inspiring: By being around others who exercise you can become inspired and maybe even try out some new exercises. Many gyms also hold events and challenges you can join.
  • Easier to commit and stick with: By committing with a payment or joining classes you will have more incentive to stick with your workouts. The moment you leave your house to go to the gym, the likelihood of you quitting is close to non. Instead you might even give it an extra 10% – simply because you are in public. Same goes for attending classes. You will be more likely to do all the exercises even though you are tired as hell simply because you don’t want to loose face ?.
  • Relations are formed easier: By joining classes you can more easily form new relations or join communities, that are interested in the same sport or class as you are. This also helps with committing to your training.


Cons

  • Costs money: This one is quite obvious! It costs money to have a gym membership. You can easily end up paying for things you don’t use. I personally don’t pay for classes, since I rarely go to them.
    TIP: Don’t fall for the “free”-product opt-in at the gym. This extra cost is completely unnecessary and much cheaper if you buy the products you like at the supermarket.
  • Can be intimidating: Starting out at the gym can be very intimidating to new-comers. When we feel insecure we are more likely to skip or do less intense workouts. Don’t worry! These feelings and insecurities can be overcome! Read these tips to being new at the gym!
  • You have to adapt your schedule to the classes and opening hours of the gym: The classes might not exactly fit your schedule. For instance there are very few really early morning classes at my gym, so I am fairly limited if I do not want to go after work or in the evening. I also joined a gym for a period of time that opened at 6 am, which turned out was too late for my schedule.
  • Crowded at times: The gym can be really crowded at times and sometimes you can be forced to change your workout routine due to others using the machines you want. I personally newer do strength training at the gym in the busiest time, since I do not want to adapt my workout to the machines available.


At home


Pros

  • Easy access: Probably the biggest pro of them all! You can workout any time and from anywhere. Workouts from home are completely adaptable to your schedule.
  • Requires minimum equipment: Most at-home-programmes require minimum equipment. A great example is Kayla Itsines BBG programme, which I am currently using.
  • Minimum cost: As with the cons of working out at the gym – this is quite obvious. Investing in home-gym equipment is oftentimes more economic in the long run than a gym membership due to a low cost per use – however, this depends a lot on what equipment you need.
  • Minimum preparation: When going to the gym you have to pack gym-bag and carry it around all day. By working out at home you get the luxury of having all your stuff around and you never forget your hairbrush or towel. I personally really appreciate showering in your own bathroom, doing my makeup, and dressing at home.


Cons

  • Hidden costs: Most at-home-programmes cost money and if you need to purchase weights, these cost as well. If you are looking for a short term solution keep in mind, that some of the cheapest gym memberships can actually compete with some of the at-home-programmes out there.
  • Easy to skip: By not committing to anything or anyone other than yourself it is much easier to skip an at-home workout. Self-discipline is key here!
  • Disturbances and procrastination: Any woman with children know, that she will be interrupted 10 times during her workout at home. Even if you don’t have children, distractions are manyfold at home – the house chores are calling – not to mention the TV and couch!
  • Requires extra space: Unless you live at a mansion you probably have to rearrange some furniture when you work out from home. If you choose to make at-home-workouts a permanent solution I recommend that you make a permanent solution to your at-home-workout space. I have decorated my office accordingly.


What will I do?

For the rest of the summer I will keep on working out from home, but this is only due to the fact, that I prioritize cardio over strength training during the summer. I love running outside, which I do 3 times a week, and strength training 3 times a week, but I also love playing tennis. Due to the weather in Denmark, the season for playing tennis is only during summer, so I prioritize to play tennis over strength training during this period.

Cardio training requires minimum to none equipment and is perfect for working out at home.

I am currently doing an at home strength programme but I am missing my usual weight training at the gym, which I will get back to as soon as the tennis season ends.

I find that I enjoy less repetitative strength training, and therefore I need a larger assortment of weights.

This leaves me with my final advise for you:

Find the type of exercise you love! This way you will never skip it and you will automatically adapt your life and schedule to it. It is quite simple actually – if you love running outside – don’t run on a treadmill at the gym! If you love doing hot yoga – go to a Yoga Studio.

Are you going back to the gym?

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